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Why Sales Managers Should Watch Horror Movies

Let’s start today with an insight: We have an important internal claim: ATES – We are sales and the spark more. Because no matter how good a company is, offering great products and services, without sales nothing works, nothing will happen. That’s why our CEO Sevgi, a die-hard sales person through and through, attaches great importance to the fact that every employee, regardless of their position, is also a sales person. It is important to us that we all, both together and in our own area, commit ourselves to economic success and make our contribution. At ATES GmbH we call this commitment: “Oneness with everything”. But what is this spark that always inspires us all to do our best and achieve great things? I am an Executive Assistant and Content Producer at ATES. My personal spark towards our customers and prospective customers is ignited by the targeted use of content that speaks the language of our target group. I always ask myself the question: What does it take to reach the person I’m talking to and to make them aware of our services and our great work? I love finding new, creative answers to this question time and time again. With so many innovative topics and developments in my own company, there is never a boring day in the office for me. People from sales know what I mean. They know that feeling of thrill when good work creates a spark between the customer and the company, which must be ignited through good conversation and strategic offer processes.

I personally compare this spark to the feeling you get when you watch a horror film.

I personally like to compare this spark, thrill, or whatever you want to call it, to the feeling you get when you watch a horror film.   At first we joked about this comparison, but the transfer from horror films to sales stuck with me. I got out my old books on communication science and discovered that, scientifically speaking, it is not that far-fetched. The answer lies in Dolf Zillmann’s Excitation Transfer Theory (E.T.T. for short). This describes how successive emotions can multiply each other. Let’s take a closer look at this effect:

When we watch horror films, we experience various, actually negative emotions such as fear. While experiencing such emotions, the body releases a range of substances (e.g. endorphins) up to a complete adrenaline rush. The more intense the feeling, the higher the concentration. If we were to leave the cinema at this point, we probably wouldn’t like the film very much. In sales, this situation corresponds to talking to a potential customer who cannot be persuaded to sign a contract or make a purchase. We are nervous because we sense the potential in this field of tension, but cannot achieve it (yet).

“The desire to make a difference for the company and to give yourself and the customer a real thrill can be adopted by anyone.”

The endorphins that have built up in our bodies now need a certain amount of time to be broken down by the body, so they remain in our system even after the original feeling of the emotion. At the end of a film, the plot is resolved: the main character may or may not have survived. Yes, even if there is a cliff hanger, we are sure to feel one emotion: relief. And that is a positive feeling, which in turn releases endorphins that now mix with those already present in the body. The sensation is perceived more strongly and the overall take-away from the film feels much better. The moral of the story is: not everyone has to be a fan of horror films to use E.T.T. in sales. The desire to make a difference for the company and to give not only yourself but also the customer a real thrill is great and can be adopted by anyone. With that in mind: take care of yourself, stay healthy and let me know how you were able to use our spookily beautiful ATES Spirit Sales techniques in your sales talks. I hope you have fun trying them out!

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